Taking Stock: Top 9 Carroll Successes in 2022

Taking Stock: Top 9 Carroll Successes in 2022
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Every chance they get, Carroll educators celebrate student victories, big and small. By doing so, they foster joy not simply in what was accomplished, but in all the learning that is yet to come. Following their lead, and in the spirit of year-end reflection, I’ve created my own highlight reel of successes and sources of pride—in no particular order—from 2022. It feels important to pause and take stock of the tremendously meaningful work we engage in at Carroll. What’s more, writing it down has made me even more excited for all that lies ahead in 2023!

1. Our focus on student strengths 

I may have taken special notice of this phenomenon last year—it was, after all, the first full year of face-to-face, in-person engagement since the arrival of COVID—but I was struck by it nonetheless: There are 200 adults in our Carroll community, and every single one is exceptionally focused not on the challenges our students must overcome, but on the strengths they already possess. This asset-based mindset is not something that can be taught in school; it’s the remarkably natural, default orientation of our educators. And it is amazing to watch how it transfers to our students, helping them to grow in confidence, believe in their abilities, and flourish.  

2. Our alumni

Last June, 108 students graduated from Carroll, bound for over 90 different secondary schools. From independent day and boarding schools to public, charter, technical, and parochial schools, students’ post-Carroll journeys are increasingly rich and varied, and testament to our success preparing kids for the next, best-fit step in their education. And happily, they are eager to come back and visit! In 2022, for the first time since the pandemic began, alumni returned to our campuses to share their experiences with students, parents, and educators. 

3. Our graduate teaching program

2022 marked the 19th year of The Angela Wilkins Program of Graduate Studies in Education, a partnership with Lesley University. Not only have we hosted and helped to train more than 120 graduate interns to work effectively with students struggling with language-based learning differences, students and teachers alike have learned a great deal from their fresh perspective in our classrooms. Last spring, we were proud to graduate our second cohort of teachers from The Fellowship for Teachers of Color, a scholarship program funded by generous Carroll School donors.

4. Our partnerships

Perhaps you've already read about our partnership with Rigamajig and how our educators are using it to build STEM, language, and critical thinking skills with our 4th graders. We are excited to see how this partnership expands and grows in the year ahead. In more partnership news, our participation in dynamic research projects with Dr. John Gabrieli’s neuroimaging lab at MIT as well as with Stanford University’s Reading & Dyslexia Research Program is extending Carroll’s impact well beyond the classroom by helping the field better understand dyslexia and the brain. 

5. Our self-study and reaccreditation

As part of our 10-year reaccreditation process with the AISNE (Association of Independent Schools in New England), we launched a rigorous self-study last year, a formal opportunity to honestly examine our efforts—across departments and disciplines—to deliver on our mission. A Visiting Team comes to our campuses in the fall, and we look forward to learning and growing as a community based on their feedback. 

6. Our Annual Fund

The Carroll Annual Fund hit record highs last year—over $1.5 million—surpassing our goal. In part, it supports the $3.4 million we offered in financial assistance to 25% of our families. 

7. Our after-school programs

Speaking of record numbers, more Carroll students than ever demonstrated interest in our athletics, arts, and other extracurricular programming last year, from interscholastic sports teams to after-school art, supervised study, explorations in Bounders Woods, and our Friday programming. Our students gravitate to this important downtime with each other and their teachers.

8. Our commitment to professional development

Eighty hours—that’s the commitment each and every Carroll educator made to their own professional development over the course of the last school year. In fact, they commit 80 hours every school year. It reflects their commitment to lifelong learning and to the cutting-edge pedagogy, practice, and methods that give each child what they most need to thrive. 

9. Our commitment to belonging

Our mission statement, which we revised in 2021, pushes us to embrace the diverse strengths, identities, and lived experiences of everyone in our school community. Last year more than ever, we witnessed the extent to which acknowledging and celebrating these differences helps us to grow our community of belonging. At Carroll, by just being you, you belong.

Recent Posts

Renee Greenfield and Maryanne Wolf Discuss the Science of Reading
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

As I wrote last spring, new research exploring the neuroscience of reading has stirred the debate over how best to teach our children to read. At the forefront of the discussion is Dr. Maryanne Wolf, an internationally-known researcher, teacher, and advocate for children’s literacy, who I had the fortune of learning from as a graduate student. I recently sat down with Maryanne to get her reaction to the current dialogue around the science of reading.

The Impact of Teacher Disposition on Learning Outcomes
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

In that first year of teaching at Carroll, I thought a lot about what drove their relentless optimism and persistence, neither of which are necessarily taught in teacher education programs. What leads them to work so hard for these kids? Slowly, I began to realize. The ineffable factor—the thing that really ignites learning with students—was, and is, their mindset.

Restorative Circle Practices at Carroll School
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Increasingly, restorative practices are being used in schools across the country as a powerful community-building tool. Not only do they offer an effective complement to traditional disciplinary measures, they help students to build important communication and relationship skills. At Carroll, we began exploring the use of restorative practices several years ago ... Dr. Renée shares how it's going and how it fits into Carroll's mission.

Carroll Students Speak: Jay and Stella Share about Belonging, Multis, and Wobbly Chairs
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

Recently, Stella Grossman, a sixth grader, and Jay Rubenstein, a fourth grader, sat down with Renée to share their thoughts on a range of Carroll topics. Not only do their insights affirm Carroll’s mission, they remind us of the very lives and families we have the privilege of touching—even transforming. 

A Conversation with Dr. Sharon Saline on Dyslexia, ADHD, and Executive Function
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

More than half of Carroll’s student population has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and/or executive function (EF) challenges, in addition to a language-based learning difference (LBLD). Often, it’s hard to tell which one is at play. How can parents and educators make sense of it all? Clinical psychologist Dr. Sharon Saline answers a few of Dr. Renée Greenfield's questions.

What Is My Role As a Carroll Parent?
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

What is my role as a Carroll parent? What can or should I do to support my child? I’m asked this question often, particularly among families new to our community. I’m happy to provide a concrete answer.

Parent-Teacher Conferences: Critical to Student Outcomes
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

At Carroll, our approach to parent-teacher conferences is purposeful and straightforward, and leads to some pretty impactful conferences and, in turn, student outcomes. Learn how conferences are designed to support students throughout the school year and beyond.

Science of Reading Orton-Gillingham Tutor
Dr. Renée Greenfield, Head of School Blog

What’s the best way to teach kids how to read? The reading debate has been simmering for decades. Recently, thanks to a newly named body of research exploring the science of reading, it has captured news headlines. Don’t get me wrong. I’m delighted by today’s energized discussion over how best to teach kids to read. It’s one of the most important conversations we can have as a nation. Here's what I'd like us to pay attention to instead.